It’s always exciting as a hardened sports fan going to any Laureus event because of the opportunity to meet and talk to sporting legends that attend and support the Laureus cause.
The next morning we set up a studio space in a salon in the Hermitage Hotel, the hub for the Laureus Foundation’s operation during its mini invasion of the principality. There were Laureus members attending this year whose portrait, interview and signature were needed for the forthcoming Laureus Opus, so we were very keen to see who was around and whose flights had been cancelled. As a tennis fan having time with Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles and Boris Becker was always going to be special … new Laureus members Ryan Giggs and Francesco Totti, double award nominee Roger Federer and many other icons from a variety of sports would also be around during the next two days.
The day was passing us by quickly and I had already had the opportunity to introduce myself to Monica Seles who kept passing our studio as she went back and forth from her room to the Laureus reception point. She was on a hunt for a dress for the awards ceremony and luckily for her Monaco had plenty to offer. Walking by in her own world, head in a tune, looking at her phone was tomorrow nights entertainment, Emeli Sandé. I approached to see if she had any free time. She came straight away to see what we were doing and was happy to pose for me. It was so refreshing to photograph a high profile musician who wasn’t worried about hair and make-up.
Despite being scheduled to be with us the following day, Monica Seles asked if she could pose for her portrait there and then as her day was free and the next day seemed hectic (still no dress for the ceremony). I naturally obliged. Her portrait was very graceful and again the stare she gave me was just the look I was after, one of a champion.